How to get the Best Out of Photographing in the Bluebell Woods
There was a time when we relied on Mother Nature to tell us that Spring was upon us but nowadays we get most of our prompts from Facebook and Twitter! However I think now we can safely say Spring is in the air and the bluebellsare getting ready to flourish, I can almost smell them.
Time of Year I love this time of year when the days are longer and we can begin to shed a few winter layers of surplus clothing. My cameras start working overtime as I photograph many families in our stunning Surrey countryside. If you are going to venture out with your camera I’ll give you a few tips to get the best photographs of your family in the countryside.
First of all Before leaving home make sure your kit is in order. We can all sometimes forget to clean our viewfinder, I know it’s such a basic thing but without a clear view of your subject you won’t realise it’s full potential, so a gentle wipe with a lens soft cloth is all you need, no harsh fluids are necessary, also give your lenses a gentle wipe too, you’ll be surprised at the grime and fingerprints they attract. Make sure your battery is fully charged and take spares with you. A memory card of at least 16GB is ideal, shooting in RAW takes so much more space than JPEGS and the results are so much better as you are recording maximum data.
Setting Your Camera For photographing people and pets I prefer to use a 70-200mm lens so you don’t have to be on top of your subject, a low angle at bluebell level often works best. I always shoot on manual and check my histogram after the first exposure to check its correctly exposed, looking at the images isn’t always accurate. To get a shallow depth of field so your subject is in focus and the background and foreground are out of focus just follow these simple tips. It’s the aperture and the distance of the subject from the background that will get that beautiful shallow depth of field and those ‘circles of confusion’ in the background. Providing your subject is at least six feet away from the background and you are shooting on a wide aperture, I prefer f4 and a fast shutter speed of at least 250th to prevent any camera shake. As you are usually under the canopy of the trees set your ISO tobetween 800-1600depending on the time of day this will ensure you can get the fast shutter speed and wide aperture combination.
Where is the best location Choose somewhere in the woodlands when the sun is low and behind your subject, early morning and late afternoon work best for me. It doesn’t always have to be a sunny day, different lighting will give you different colour saturation. Make the most of the trees too they can be used to frame your subjector to be part of the subject.
Composition Take time to think about your composition a little cropping in post production makes the difference between a great photograph and a stunning one. Do what feels instinctively right, I very rarely plan the shot as each photo shoot is differentand everyone feels comfortable indifferent settings. So let your creative juices flow and have fun.
Book a shoot with me I start my Bluebell Location shoots in the next two to three weeks depending on the great British weather, but you can rest assured that the photographs I take of you and your family, will capture the present to create the past for future generations….
What next To arrange your photo shoot or to book in on one of my Photography Masterclasses to learn to do this for yourself and more call the studio on 01883 722282
Be quick as the bluebells are at their best only for a short time, they don’t wait for anyone!!
Thanks for reading
Bye for now.